Academic Editor: Graham Pawelec
Penetrating cardiac injuries represent an increasingly frequent type of trauma in clinical and autopsy practice. The present study aims to review the specialist literature of the last decade (2010–2020) to assess whether the main features of these lesions have changed compared to previous years. The following characteristics were considered: sex, age, cardiac structure involved, execution or not of surgery and postoperative survival, hemodynamic stability, circumstances and mechanism of production, injury and cause of death. Furthermore, the authors propose a practical appraisal of penetrating heart injury in which death was due to a delay in rescue. In line with the data obtained from the practical case, the review showed that compared to the past, the differences concern especially the mortality rate. This paper highlights that the forensic pathologist who approaches a case of transcardiac injury must consider that the circumstances of death are not always attributable to accidental events, attacks or suicides, but may also be due to clinical malpractice or failure to rescue.